This piece by Jennifer Danielle Crumpton was originally published on Huffington Post, Huffington Post (HuffPost Religion) and can be viewed here.
“Through Mercy Ministries, God has removed the tape from my mouth and given me back my voice.”
This was the Christian counseling program graduation testimony of a woman named Hayley who was abused by caretakers as a child and suffered from depression, social anxiety, suicidal ideation and an eating disorder. The devout Christian went to Mercy for help, but came away with only more trauma. At Mercy, submission to God was measured by unquestioned submission to the rigid, one-size-fits-all religious methods of the counseling.
Years later, Hayley realizes this statement meant something completely different. The experience at Mercy actually woke her up to the importance of knowing and trusting herself, and speaking up for herself and others against forced religious beliefs that may stunt and even set back healing.
She is using her voice today in a Slate piece by Jennifer Miller to help educate Christian women about the real experience she had at Mercy.
I recently had a conversation with journalist Jennifer Miller about her important article ‘Mercy Girls’, which relays the stories of some young women and families who looked to a Christian ministry now called Mercy Multiplied for help in their struggles with trauma, addiction and mental illness. But the program they entered was not at all what they expected.
Miller gives these women a voice, explores both the benefits and drawbacks of faith-based therapies, and shines a light on the gaps in the American mental health system that leave people without the care they need, leading them into perhaps inappropriate and unhealthy alternatives.
Watch our brief discussion and let me know what you think: